Keswick Agricultural Show
Keswick Agricultural Show first started in 1860, over 150 years ago. It is a traditional Cumbrian agricultural show. Originally shepherds meets would be arranged for farmers to return lost sheep who wandered off their 'hefted' land onto other farmer's land and also return loaned tups (male sheep) to their owners.
The original meets were for fell farms from neighbouring valleys and the farmers would walk their sheep to be swapped over the fells on ancient routes through passes such as Stake Pass or the bridleway past Styhead Tarn.
These developed into shows where farmers could also showcase their livestock. However these days shows include a wide range of entertainment and are definitely not just for farmers.
Keswick Agricultural Show is now a popular local show which attracts 10,000 visitors, including both locals and tourists.
There are a wide range of attractions to appeal to the whole family, far more than 'just' sheep.
Sheep show - A highlight of the year for local farmers showing a range of sheep classes including Swaledale and the famous Herdwick. Find out more about our Herdwicks here.
Horses and ponies - Fell ponies have always been associated with the Lake District and they are thought to have been bred from Galloway ponies from near the England/Scotland border. They are hardy ponies well suited to the terrain and weather and they used to be used to transport goods around the county and further afield. You can see evidence of this in packhorse bridges. However, they are now considered a rare breed. Fell ponies are shown, as well as a number of other horses and ponies.
Dog classes - A variety of dog classes including sheepdogs and a children's dog show.
Traditional Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling - There is some debate over the actual origin of this form of wrestling. Some consider it has evolved from Norse wrestling brought over by Vikings and others associate it with Celtic traditions. Either way, it has been around for a very long time and is a great opportunity to watch this traditional sport.
Fell race - A typical show race running out over fields, out onto the fell with two short, sharp ascents up Stile End and Barrow, returning over the same fields. Free entry with entrance to the show field, mandatory FRA kit. Fell races are low key, tough races with a strong British history. Expect rough terrain, steep ascents and even steeper descents.
Handicrafts and horticulture - See the best local skills in produce, horticulture, handicrafts and a variety of junior classes.
Trade stands, food and more - There are plenty of trade stands, live music, food and drink and children's entertainment throughout the day. With highlights including a falconry display. There are also dog races and pony fancy dress.
We hope we've shown you enough to whet your appetite to visit this show on your visit here. Its an opportunity for the whole family to have a fun day out whilst enjoying some Cumbrian culture.
August 28th - Bank Holiday Monday. Tickets on the gate, £10 adults, £2 children over 5, £20 family ticket.
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